The green-thumbed technicians at Gardens by Marsetti cultivate lush, thick lawns with aeration and fertilization services. Clients consult with lawn specialists to describe their yard-related goals, such as achieving grass that's as comfortable to bare feet as socks made of wookie fur. Technicians thoroughly aerate grassy areas, removing plugs of soil to allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to enter the ground and nourish roots. After aerating lawns, technicians determine how much fertilizer is appropriate to foster grass health before feeding eager turf.
Rock & Rose Landscapes is an eco-friendly landscape design, installation, and maintenance firm that plants beds with climatically adapted foliage and feeds natural lawns and meadows with organic fertilizers. During a landscaping consultation, Rock & Rose's professional lawn pamperers will discuss specific, site-appropriate plans to reimagine boring backyards and weed-throttled gardens as well-manicured Edens. Ninety minutes is usually enough time to cover all aspects of a project—such as overall design, budget, and maintenance—and definitely enough time to cover the cultural significance of red-capped garden gnomes. While not included in today's deal, Rock & Rose also offers garden installations and on-going maintenance for clients who opt to implement proposed landscaping plans.
At Maloney's Horses and Ponies, majestic steeds graze and buck in open pastures backed by a landscape of picturesque rolling hills and whispering ocean waves. Standing in the sea breeze is Cheryl Maloney, the proprietor and head riding instructor. Before opening her school, Cheryl taught throughout the United States and England, most recently directing the Stanford Riding School for 12 years. She is joined by fellow instructors Sara Williams, Sarah Platshon, and Jack Gosse-Fuchs; together, the team leads lessons in English-style riding for students of all ages and skill levels.
During lessons, students learn the fundamentals of riding—from sitting in a basic balancing position to standing while singing the horse anthem—along with necessary horsemanship skills such as grooming and tacking. The lessons take place in Maloney's all-weather back sand arena, where picturesque ocean views frame a colorful jumping course, and a front arena dedicated to dressage and flat exercises. The school also has access to more than 7 miles of beach trails that lead riders on explorations of the bluffs or trots down to the surf. The school also boards horses, sells and leases new mounts, and holds summer camps for riders up to 15 years old.
Tucked into the hills of Rancho Corral de Tierra lies Ocean View Farms, where sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean combine with the expertise of Agnes Sadeghi, an instructor accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association, to attract equine enthusiasts for lessons and trail rides. Agnes brings a lifetime of experience to the farm, as she began to ride at the age of 6 and went on to master British horsemanship exams as a teen—earlier than most riders and just after most centaurs. Her goal for students is to turn them into independent riders through dressage and jumping lessons conducted atop palomino paint horses and arabian thoroughbreds. Beginning riders can show off advancing skills on Two for Trail rides through the hills of Rancho Corral de Tierra and McNee Ranch State Park, whereas more advanced riders can take on longer, more difficult routes.
Since 1972, the farmers at Santa's Tree Farm and Village have grown one crop: evergreen trees. Today, they cultivate six species—douglas fir, grand fir, white fir, noble fir, redwood, and monterey pine—on 22 rolling fields spread across 487 acres. They equip visitors with saws, and either send them out to cut their own Christmas trees or come along to train local bears to do it instead. The farm's operators also cultivate holiday cheer—a gift shop stocks handmade wreaths, tree stands, and other decorations ranging from mistletoe to garlands and twinkling baubles. In a central square, performers organize weekend activities such as puppet shows and visits from Santa Claus. A trackless train ferries visitors on tours of the farm as they savor complimentary hot apple cider.
More than 50 years ago, Italian-born Enrico Pastorino and his wife, Lorraine, established Pastorino Farms in the Half Moon Bay region. The farm first operated as a wholesale flower nursery, but it later expanded to include a seasonal pumpkin patch, petting zoo, and gift barn. Today, Enrico and Lorraine’s son Hank—along with the third generation of Pastorinos—maintains the family farm, which still sells plants and flowers year-round. Each October, the farm transforms into a harvest wonderland, replete with a pumpkin patch, hayrides, face painting, and scarecrows modeling the season’s hottest overalls.